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Old 03-11-2021, 07:41 AM   #1
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Replacing ceiling fluorescent lights with LED

My SMB has two fluorescent ceiling lamps on the pop-up and one as an under-cabinet light at the sink/kitchen.

Can anyone suggest an easy and affordable 12v LED replacement?

Thanks all!

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Old 03-11-2021, 08:28 AM   #2
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If you like the fixture you have now you can pretty easily replace what's inside it with a stick on short LED strip, or 2 or 5. I have done this. It does require soldering/wiring the leads from the old fixture to the LED strips but that's a pretty easy 2 wire job.

As for complete new fixtures there are amazing options out there nowadays. The LED strip fix will cost you maybe $10 for all of your lights, has lots and lots of full fixtures if that's what you want.

Don't forget to consider dimmable options if you go that route. They are quite the ticket.


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Old 03-11-2021, 08:52 AM   #3
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See post #49 here....

I used Superbright LEDs as well. They have lots of selection......pour a cup of coffee and have a look. I went with warm spectrum (around 3000K); many LEDs are available either warm or cool.

If you look close you'll see that I heavily modified one fixture but left the other one mostly stock...except for the LEDs and a dimmer knob. The plastic end covers where white....I rattle-can'ed them black and replaced the white rocker switch with a black one.
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Old 03-11-2021, 11:24 AM   #4
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I replaced mine with these $20 LED bulbs.

6 years later and all are still working. Plug and play with minor wire modification and bypassing the existing ballast. No issues to date.
2005 E350 RB 6.0 PSD for extended fun
1989 Landcruiser FJ62 for local fun
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Old 03-11-2021, 11:31 AM   #5
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I just did this to my van. Since I installed a CD heater and use it overnight boondocking I'm sensitive to every watt used by my one house battery.
The big penthouse lights = ~35 watts each including the ballast. After LED retrofit now about 5 watts each.

I bought from

These items:
RLBN-NW30SMD: Natural White $7.95
C21-I06: Interconnect-6 Inch Long $0.45
C21-I18: Interconnect-18 Inch Long $0.90
MCBRF-4A: Mini Single Color LED Controller $9.95

I cut the interconnects in half and used them as power connections too.

These made the job WAY simpler, NO soldering!
Solder Seal Wire Connectors, Heat Shrink

Use a dimmer, totally worth it!

Cut the LED strips to fit. The left over pieces can be used elsewhere.
Keep track of the polarity! Otherwise you'll be switching and reconnecting the power to fix.

I left all the fluorescent light stuff in place cause I'm lazy and incase I wanted to go back. There's enough room to work around it.

But I'm not switching back. The LEDs and remote controlled dimmer work WAY better.
2003 E-350, 5.4 V8, 2x4, LSD 4.10, WeldTec 6" lift, SMB, Penthouse
2016 Beta 500 RS
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Old 03-11-2021, 12:45 PM   #6
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As everyone else has mentioned you have LOTs of options. Your existing fixtures are probably Thin-Lites. They now manufacture the LEDs in almost exactly the same fixtures as the old fluorescent ones. My vanís original fixture had a cracked lens so I just replaced it completely. The new one wasnít particularly cheep at approximately $100 though. The replacement for the ceiling fixture in my van was LED616P. Very bright when on full, but infinitely dimmable...
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Old 03-11-2021, 03:24 PM   #7
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Thanks for that Steve, I figured Thinlite made an LED model of that fixture by now. None of their stuff has ever been cheap.

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Old 03-11-2021, 04:20 PM   #8
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Yep - I too would like to Thank You Steve, wasn't even on my list of "stuff to do", but you just made it too easy - going to check the actual size against the ones I currently have, then will be ordering 2 of them to replace my existing. I'm all about simple, so the plug-n-play option appeals to me!
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Old 03-18-2021, 11:21 AM   #9
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I had been researching this a bunch because I want dimmable and to move on from the fluorescent. Hadn't had much luck yet. Guess I should have posted the question here first
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Old 03-18-2021, 03:49 PM   #10
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This is what I replaced in my two fixtures.

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